By: Eleniel

Rating: R

Warnings: suicide, depression, described self mutilation..if these things bother you, don't read this. If the idea of a screwed up Elf bothers you, don't read this. If you feel the need to flame me, don't read this. If you're immature enough to flame me, don't bother reading this, because you're not mature enough to handle it.

Summary: An unknown Elf recounts his short, short life, reminiscing on all the wrong he's done...how can he possibly make up for the hurts he believes he's caused in the world? WARNING: suicide and described self-harm. COMPLETE. No flames please.

Spoilers: none. Disclaimer: I don't own the Elves or the places in this story. It doesn't mention any main characters from LOTR, but it is set in LOTR and it is a Sindarin Elf, so...I am only borrowing from Tolkein's ideas.

Feedback: just click the review button please.

A/N: This story was written late at night when I was half-asleep and feeling very...odd. Don't flame me if this story bothers you; after all, all you have to do is click the back button on your browser. I'm not standing over you forcing you to read this and I'm not reading it aloud to you. Don't talk to me if you don't have something halfway decent to say. Constructive criticism is more than welcome.

All right, enough rambling, on with the story.


"Hell fire" is my name. Or rather, it is the meaning of my name. Aikanaro. It's Sindarin, but one wouldn't expect anything to the contrary from Sindarin parents.

My name is Aikanaro because that's what I was from day one. As a small elfling, I was pure spirit, and very intense. I'm technically part of the woodland realm, but I've been labeled a rogue, and with that label comes abandonment, hate, and many other negative emotions. I was thrown out of my village long ago. Elves and Men alike avoid me, for somehow I became known in many places, though I've never been out of Mirkwood. Perhaps it can be traced to my rogue labeling; very few Elves are violent creatures. Very few Elves are always a disappointment, always one who fights, never one who's known for kindness.

But, I am one who is. I am only 534 years old, and I have learned many lessons in my short life, but the most important one seems to be that everything comes around, and it's all destructive in the end.

Now I sit here, alone in the woods, frighteningly close to Dol Guldur, prodding a fire that's long since ceased to burn. It's late, but there are no stars-only blackness. Not even the trees surrounding me are visible.

I sit and think, think about everything and nothing at the same time. For some reason, I am distraught tonight.

I remember this morning. There is a group of young men in Mirkwood, and they were there without permission or guide. I'm sure all of them will die before morning light.

Any other Elf would have done something about it, something to help them.

But not me.

No, instead I leave them, after cursing them for crossing my path in the first place. I am not in a good mood today, and the well-fed look of these men isn't helping. I might be an Elf, and I might have lived here my whole life, but that just means that the woodland creatures now know the signs of my coming, and they run, as well they should.

I do believe I have frightened those men terribly. Though it did not show on their faces, I can see it in their eyes. They don't know what to make of me.

I don't know what to make of me.

Many men that I've met like that ask why I am like I am. Many Elves, too. They can't understand..I started life in a good home in a good part of the forest. But they all miss one important detail.

When I was just a tiny Elfling, I wandered off into the woods by myself. One of these times, I was captured by an Orc. My father rescued me within a few days, but I could never fully recover from the horrors I was put through. I never mention this incident. Therefore, people don't understand.

I have turned to things I shouldn't since then. Things to cope with the pain, for that was not the last time I was captured and tortured, no, I have been captured many times, but they always get caught in some trap and I am able to free myself.

Pain is something that's a part of my every waking moment now. It has been since the day my village told me to leave.

At first I didn't know what to do. It hurt, it still hurts, very much, and as I think about it, and how much I disappointed my parents and my community, and how many people and things I have hurt since then, how many living things fear me and hate me..I need to find a way to take the pain I feel in my heart and soul, take it away and take it out and release it.

I only know of one way to do this, however, and it isn't one that I'd like to resort to.

It's not even one you would think of, I can promise you that. Not for an Elf. We don't hurt ourselves, we don't take blades to our wrists, we don't have to hide our skin because it's scarred and cut and bruised. We don't seek hallucinogenic plants to ease our pain.

Well, most of us don't. In fact, I am the only one I know who does.

But it is something I need. Imagine, for a moment, yourself as a twenty year old Elfling, born with a slightly less controlled demeanor, and you are taken by an Orc. Taken and beaten, tortured with burning things and sharp things and blunt things alike. Tortured for three days and two nights. Imagine that. You are unable to recover fast enough, and you are unable to explain to anyone. Your trust in the world is broken, as is mine. You are a disappointment to all, you are feared and hated, you are the outcast.

And the worst part is, you used to belong.

You can't cope with the pain and hurt you feel..Elves feel emotions on a deeper level than Men do. We are more reliant on pleasing people and helping, and we need to be accepted, especially at a young age. My parents don't even accept me, even now.

Take all this pain, and roll it up and shove it deep inside of you, where it can never come out. Now, you are captured again and tortured again, and again and again and again.

When does it end?

It hasn't ended for me yet, and it won't for you either.

The ironic thing is, I am no longer tortured by Orcs.

I am held captive by my pain and tortured by my own foolish hands.

I am the one causing the pain now. I am the one slicing my skin, I am the one relishing my blood, the sharp tingle and sting that comes from the blade.

It is a pain reliever for me. The pain on the outside I can deal with, but I can't take the pain in my heart anymore. I am weak.

I am no Elf.

I ponder the sting I still feel from yesterday's mutilation session as I sit tonight and poke at the fire. In a moment of fury, directed at myself, I shove my hand into the embers. It burns, oh does it burn, and it hurts. It feels so good...

I wonder what's become of myself, the young Elfling I used to be, before, long before...I wonder what would have become of me if I hadn't gone down this road.

Well, it's too late now. I did go this way, and I do regret it, but there's nothing I can do to change that. I am addicted to my self-mutilation. I am unable to survive without it, I am unable to take the pain of daily life anymore.

In a flash of unprovoked anger I take my knife to the side of my head. In one quick, fluid motion I take off the tip of my ear; I can see it lying on the ground next to me now. Warm liquid is running down the side of my head now, but I don't care. No, I still have one side to do. I can't go around with one pointed ear and one...chopped...ear.

This ear I can't do so quickly and easily. I slipped once with this very knife, and nicked a tendon in my wrist. I can't use this hand so freely anymore.

Quick as I can manage my other ear is now unpointed. I would get up to look into the river and see my reflection, but I am not finished yet.

Not by a long shot.

Instead, I take the blade and wipe it on the ground. Ripping my sleeves up rather roughly, I can still see the gashes I made yesterday, and the day before...this is a habitual thing for me now. I am not even upset sometimes when I do it. I wasn't yesterday. But tonight, I am. Thinking and reminiscing about my past, my childhood, my rejections and despair has made me angry and made me want to scream and cry.

But I cannot. I am unable now; I have been for a long, long time. I cannot cry, I cannot scream, I am unable to do anything but cut my skin. That is the only was I have to release my emotion. Any emotion.

Thinking about all this, my helplessness and childishness and the weakness I show by not being able to stop, it only makes me angrier. I don't know if I'll be able to stop tonight; I think this may be it. This may be my last night in the realm of the living. I am only just over five hundred. My life is short.

I can't help but think I deserve this. I deserve all this pain-after all, I caused pain all through my life. I caused pain to those men I see and meet in the forest. None of them live here, none of them will make it out alive. I've seen their corpses hanging from the spider's webs. I've caused pain to my entire village, especially my parents. They had high hopes for me. Then they had to kick me out. And it was my fault.

Look what's become of me now. Reduced to a bleeding wreck on the ground, and not finished yet. My ears are now more rounded. I am no longer distinguishable from a tall, lean, slightly more beautiful Man.

I take my blade, one last time, and I make dozens of long, deep gashes in my arms, and when I can't anymore for lack of uninjured space, I move to an unused area: my stomach. Here, I carve various patterns, stars, symbols, anything that comes to mind.

I carve the words, "I am sorry."

I am exhausted now. It's nearly dawn, but I can't move far enough to see. My stomach is burning, my charred hand and my arms, without an inch of unmarked skin left between my elbows and wrists, it all hurts so very badly.

But in a way, it's what I need. I have got to have a release, and this is something that keeps me tied to the ground. Sometimes you need to bleed to know you're alive.

I fall into a restless, pained sleep, exhausted emotionally and physically. By the time I wake up, my skin will have begun to mend itself. Or, if I'm lucky, I won't wake up at all. I don't want to; I'm sick of this world, sick of the pain it causes, to all, not just to me.

Unfortunately, I am not lucky. I wake up shortly after the sun rises, still unable to bend my stomach too much, and unable to use my burned hand. I've really screwed myself over now. If I can't use both hands I can't hunt for meat.

I hate myself. I hate the scars on my body, I hate the fact that I have to hurt myself to try to help myself, and it doesn't help for long. It's just a temporary fix. But I am too weak to break the cycle. I am too weak to be a real Elf.

I remember now that my ears are no longer Elf-like. I have to wash my hair and my face off to see them-they're healing well enough, considering. They aren't bleeding anymore.

I look a bit odd now. My ears are neither pointed nor perfectly rounded.

Just another thing to label me a freak for.

But, that's life. I suppose I've caused enough pain, even though I also caused joy-when I was very small I made a lot of people very happy. But even happiness is destructive in the end, when the happiness you've come to expect isn't delivered. If you get happy you can be brought crashing down again; if you don't ever get out of depression, there is no way to kick you when you're high, so to speak.

I am falling into blissful, blackened sleep again...until now, I have never truly lost the desire to live. I have always had some hope, that maybe someday I would be better and I would be accepted. But now I know it's not true and it's never going to happen.

I don't know why today is the day I am going to give up my hold on life; nothing horrible has happened lately, except my self-mutilation. But, just in case I don't die by just letting go, I am going to ensure my passing with these plants I find within my reach. They are poisonous, after all.

I'm actually rather frightened now, as I feel my stomach begin to cramp. I am regretting doing what I did, but I know it's too late. My vision is beginning to swirl, and I vomit several times before I start to cough up blood.

I think this may be the end.

And I don't know what to say anymore...